Hey I'm Jen!
Growing up I was sure of two things;
1. That wherever I ended up in life I wanted to work with animals be they big or small
2. The world is a huge place and it's gonna to take a while to see it all!
My friends rarely understand the places I choose to visit and often wonder why I find am so completely content volunteering to drown in my own sweat working hard and picking up different kinds of animal poo on my holidays and not only that but PAYING to do it! when for anyone else their idea of contentment would involve laying out on a tropical beach with a cocktail in each hand watching the world go by.
I first traveled overseas at the age of 9 with my parents and visited the USA (Disneyland of course) and parts of the UK. Of course my memories are a bit vague being that young so they go back on that wishlist to do it all over again. As a teenager with my high school I was lucky enough to travel to Paris in years 10 and 11 as part of a linguistic travel exchange, this was only for two weeks at a time but at the age of 16 Paris was exactly what we all romanticize it to be.
Later in high school in English we had a subject of 'Journeys' and this is where the travel bug really bit hard and I hadn't even gone anywhere! I chose ' Long Way Round' as my subject a series with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, they traveled by themselves on motorcycle through Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia and the US over the span of a few months. I watched that series (around 10 times or more), read the books, dreamt about Kazakhstan and the steppes of Mongolia, the 'Matroshkas' of Russia and everything in between.
Those dreams soon became my first big adventure was with my two best friends who happen to be twins and we just so happened to have a love of strange places, it didn't take us long to book a flight to Almaty, Kazakhstan and the rest is history and by history I mean you can read all about it on this website. That was my very first blog and it was just for our friends and family reading along making sure we were alive so reading it back it's a little bit silly at times but it helps spark some incredible memories.
Well I guess that brings us to the wildlife portion of my travels..in 2014 I was accepted to Taronga Training Institute as an intern Zoo Keeper over 12 months with Dubbo Zoo in New South Wales, Australia. This was without a doubt both the absolute best/hardest year of my entire life, every week I was there I was fueling a passion for conservation that continues to grow as I learn and expand my knowledge. One of my very first 'keeper talks' was in class and the subject was our choice, I'd been researching the bile trade and the effects on Sun and Moon Bears in South East Asia and chose this as my subject. I was amazed by how little even my classmates new about it and these are people with genuine interest in conservation and so I decided the first thing I was going to do was travel solo for the to Cambodia in the New Year and volunteer with Free the Bears. That experienced changed my life in so many ways even though I was only gone for 6 weeks, I scared myself , I grew proud of myself, I opened up and allowed people to get to know the real Jen and she's a bit weird let's be honest.
Every adventure I've ever dreamed of is a little bit out of the ordinary and there is a seriously long list to get through so I figured I should get serious and go legit on this blogging thing. I always blogged for my family and friends and now I'm blogging for everyone to enjoy..I hope!
My rambling thoughts are yours to enjoy, welcome to my weird little world!
love JenVentura x
My very first travel blogs can be found here;
Trans Siberian Railway in 2012 - themagicalmysterytourists.blogspot.com.au
Flying Solo Cambodia, Free the Bears in 2015 - flyingsolocambodia.blogspot.com.au